How is Justin Jefferson not one of Madden 22’s top 10 receivers?
Justin Jefferson took the NFL by storm in his rookie season. The Minnesota Vikings star set franchise records held by Randy Moss, introduced the world to “The Griddy” and set a Super Bowl-era rookie record for most receiving yards. But for his success, it looks like he still hasn’t got the national attention he deserves.
The last lightweight came on Monday when EA Sports released their 10 best wide receivers for Madden NFL 22. While several superstars were on the list, Jefferson didn’t do so with an overall rating below 90.
Being overlooked is nothing new for Jefferson. He was Justin Herbert’s finalist in the Rookie of the Year award vote and starred in an offense starring Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase at LSU. But Jefferson’s performance should propel him into the top 10.
Davante Adams is the only receiver with an overall rating of 99 and Jefferson was second behind him in yards per run last season. Simple math indicates that Jefferson had a higher YPRR than the other nine receivers on the list and that only Stefon Diggs and DeAndre Hopkins had more receiving yards.
If Jefferson has better stats than everyone on the roster, why didn’t he make the cut? It may have to do with something more than statistics.
Every player in the top 10 has a quarterback who is a media darling. While Kirk Cousins is a decent quarterback in real life, he doesn’t have the star power that Aaron Rodgers or Kyler Murray do.
Moving down the list, Cousins won’t win a popularity contest against Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Tom Brady, or Dak Prescott. Even the names on the roster who don’t have elite quarterbacks are either future Hall of Fame members (Julio Jones) or have a longer track record (Allen Robinson).
But even if it is, that doesn’t explain why Jefferson wasn’t on the list when Odell Beckham Jr. was propelled to superstar rank after his rookie season.
Beckham’s 2014 season was one of the best in NFL history by a rookie, racking up 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns during his rookie campaign. Like Jefferson, Beckham presented his numbers in limited action, doing his damage after missing the first month with a groin injury.
After a catch on national television, Beckham became a household name and even graced the cover of Madden NFL 16. Beckham’s overall rating that year was 94 and the fifth-highest among receivers.
This could also be the case with the team that Jefferson plays on. He put on a monster rookie season, but he did so in a team that went 7-9. Meanwhile, all ten receivers on the list saw their teams head to the playoffs.
Sure, Jefferson could set records, but when he does in a meaningless Week 17 final in Detroit, there aren’t as many people watching as, say, the Nickelodeon playoff game.
Ultimately, winning may be the fastest way to increase Jefferson’s Madden Rating. If he can take it one step further in his second season and the Vikings bounce back, chances are he will be held just like the other names on the roster.